I have had the best experience this year teaching some really cool kids. When I started teaching two years ago, I only hoped to make some extra cash to pay for my horse. Yet somehow working with my students has really changed my life and become my favorite part of the week.
Watching those kids grow up has been great. One of my students couldn't canter when she came to me. I helped her buy her first horse, and she showed on the local circuit this year. The local trainers sure didn't like that I was bringing students to shows. I'm only 17, so that was somewhat annoying to them. I've been working in this area for years, though, so I didn't see the issue. Anyways, my student and I worked really hard throughout the season. In January I will be attending the awards banquet, happily watching her accept her reserve champion for 18" crossrail equitation, reserve champion for 2'0" equitation, and a 6th place for 2'0" hunter. The trainers don't say mean things about us anymore :) Did I mention that for the first 9 months of the year, we only had 2 jumps to practice on? (In contrast to a course of 7ish)
One of my greatest challenges has been starting a rider on a horse. I saw another student get on a horse for the first time last year. The other day I saw her jump her first vertical with equitation that George Morris would applaud (not to brag :) I just cannot believe how far she has come! What a pleasure to work with such motivated, determined girls.
So I guess the whole point of that was to brag on my students, but I am curious about other's experiences teaching kids. How do you keep them interested? What exercises are most useful? What have your students taught you?